What is the case, you will question yourself.
Well actually it’s rather simple. Last June (yes June 2017, almost 5 months and still no mentioning on this blog of this event; shame on you Alde Garde!!) the whole Alde Garde went to St Helens.
This after repeated invitations of Steve Ayers to come over, organize a wargames demo on behalf of the Lance and Longbow Society during Phalanx , the Spartans' wargames show and stay some days at Steve's and his wife Gwens' house so we could also have a game on Sunday with a bunch of other well-respected gentlemen who call themselves the Gentlemen Pensioners.
So on an early Friday morning June 15th we sleepy started our car (fully loaded with our medieval demo of Venlo 1372) somewhere in the South-Eastern part of the Netherlands and drove through Belgium, France (the Channel Tunnel) and various Motorways in GB to St Helens.
After unloading most of our wargames stuff at the Spartan show location (we had to wait some time until the gymniastics cleared the hall) we went to Steve's and Gwens' house at Salford where we were very warmly welcomed; not only by Steve and Gwen but also by a delegation of the Gentlemen Pensioners of which later more. And last but not least ........ we were surprised with a great plate of fish and chips and some excellent London Beer, which was very much welcomed by us after a trip of almost 900km.
building up on saterday
Next early morning after breakfast, we went to Phalanx, building up the rest of our demo. The Gentlemen Pensioners had offered to play our demo game, so that we had time to explain things to the onlookers and answer questions. For the first time in 15 years we had enough time to discover in a relaxed way everything else that was happening on the Show. We gave a short explanation of the game and the Hail Ceasar Rules to the playing members of the Pensioners and off they went. Being a spectator to your own game felt a bit strange at the beginning, but we were quickly used to it as we saw how much the players enjoyed our game. They had a great game as we heard later.
The 1372 game
After packing up between 4 or 5 o’clock we went back to Steve's home and had a great and enjoying evening with chatting, drinking etc. Nothing fancy, just great.
Sunday afternoon we had an ECW wargame with the whole group in which the Alde Garde was on the same (Parliamentary) side and in which Peter had a great flank battle with Ian lasting almost the whole game and Jan just gave his best to immitate the British stiff upper lip and defending the centre of the battle line.
It was a great wargame and we forgot who won (suppose it was the British/Dutch Parliamentary combination but it could also be the Royalists, boooh) but the battles were fought out with great but friendly elan and Steve and David did a great job as umpires. We loved it.
The battle field: left the Royalists, right the Parlamentarians
In the foregound the two adversaries Ian (on the left and thinking for a good move) and Peter (thinking how he can outthink Ian). This they did almost all the game.
At last, Jan didn't miss. We suppose, Will loved to be on Jans' side after all those misses!
This was followed by a lovely evening with what was left of the Pensioners, as some had to say goodby a bit earlier as they had to leave for home, family and/or work.
What remained was a good night, breakfast in the morning, saying goodbye to our hosts Gwen and Steve and a journey home almost along the same route as we came. We made a slight detour and visisited Tilbury Fort, which happened to be closed on Monday. However we were able to take some nice pictures still.
We must sincerely thank our hosts Gwen and Steve for inviting us, feeding us and letting us sleep at their lovely (red) house. It was a weekend which we will always remember; it was just great!
Of course our sincere thanks to all the Pensioners Chris, Dave, David, Ian, John, Martin, Neil, Nick, Steve and Will and of course Lynne, for giving us the feeling that we were for a limited time part of the group; thanks for the interesting conversations we had and the overall kindness we felt.
Maybe we can repeat this again some day, but perhaps we can first meet at the next Crisis show in Antwerp; we would love to bring a suitable demo for you to the location so that you just have to come over to play and chat and have some Belgian beer of which is said tasts good.
PS: we have used pictures from both several Pensioners and from ourselves, but because of the lightning at Phalanx the quality of the pictures of the show games isn’t so well. Also pictures of the Sunday game are included, all taken by the Pensioners.
Some other pictures in grey tone as this is better then the yellowish pictures we made due to the lighting in the hall.
Short discription of the game after a coffee incident on the table